Director, Animal Health \u0026 Welfare

The National Aquarium is seeking a talented leader to direct the administration and management of Animal Health and Animal Rescue activities within Animal Care & Welfare. In partnership with the VP, Animal Care & Welfare and Director of Husbandry, the Director of Animal Health determines the strategic direction of all Animal Care & Welfare animal welfare operational activities internally and externally. This position closely partners with other departments to ensure that animal health & welfare are appropriately prioritized and incorporated throughout the organization, in addition to leading the Animal Welfare committee.

Essential Functions

  • Oversees effective operations and accountabilities within Animal Health and Animal Rescue teams through leadership.
  • Supports leadership, planning, and operational needs of Animal Care & Welfare.
  • Directs a comprehensive program of veterinary health care for resident, quarantine, and rehabilitation animals through clinical and preventative medicine.
  • Enhances collaboration with internal and external stakeholders to develop, implement, and evaluate projects that fulfill the strategic priorities of the Aquarium; supports science-based conservation and policy initiatives.
  • Actively participates in and promotes professional development and continuing education.


  • Veterinary Degree (DVM, VMD) from an accredited university
  • Minimum of 8 years’ experience in an AZA accredited zoo or aquarium as a clinical veterinarian (or equivalent)
  • Current Maryland veterinary license (or ability to obtain within 2 months of hire)
  • USDA Health Certification
  • Ability to obtain FDA license for controlled substances
  • A valid motor vehicle operator’s license, and acceptable driving record; possess the ability to drive a variety of vehicles (cars, vans/trucks).

  • Desired Residency/Internship Experience:
    • One year internship in small animal or large animal medicine
    • One year internship in aquatic/zoo animal medicine; residency in aquatic or zoo animal medicine
  • ACZM or ABVP board certification
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Certification

  • Possess the highest level of competency in clinical veterinary medicine with knowledge of pathology, surgery, radiology, and internal animal medicine.
  • Highly knowledgeable regarding aquatic and exotic animal anatomy and be able to apply standard clinical techniques to an Aquarium setting.
  • Complete knowledge of invertebrate, reptile, amphibian, avian, and mammalian medicine, and possess veterinary medical expertise for both fresh and saltwater, boney and cartilaginous fishes.
  • Highly proficient in diagnosing and treating aquatic/exotic animal diseases, performing surgery, and in laboratory work in anatomy, biochemistry, medicine, and other scientific subjects.
  • Must have an affinity for animals, and have the capacity to make decisions based on the best interest of the collection and safety of the staff.
  • Ability to quickly make decisions in emergency situations.
  • Must possess capacity to share information and knowledge via a variety of mediums to staff and members of the community including, but not limited to, teaching, research, publications, and presentations. Should be proficient in scientific research methods and presentation skills.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and professionally with colleagues, staff, and other individuals. Must be able to listen to staff and make recommendations.
  • Possess capacity to empathize and work/negotiate with staff to provide the best care possible for collection.
  • Ability to formulate hypotheses and develop creative solutions for a variety of clinical and animal care issues.
  • Must be able to identify strategic departmental goals in objects in accordance with Aquarium's mission and translate such into individual objects for staff, as well as be able to evaluate and coach performance on those objectives.
  • Must be able to interact with our guests, partners and colleagues in a positive and professional manner

The National Aquarium is committed to diversity and invites individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply.


The work environment at the National Aquarium is high-energy and high-performance. The pace is very fast, and change is constant. In those ways, it is not like a more traditional nonprofit workplace where work responsibilities might be fixed and unchanging, or expectations unclear. Here, we hold ourselves to very high expectations. It is a stimulating workplace that attracts unique and energetic people. It’s also a culture of continuous improvement, which means we’re constantly seeking to move from good to better to best.

The reason for this is the urgency is our mission. We are focused on changing the way humanity cares for our ocean planet. Our mission and communications are rooted in evidence-based science. We are at the center of Baltimore’s renaissance, a major player in restoring its iconic Inner Harbor, and deeply committed to inspiring our guests to become “hope-filled conservationists” on a national and international scale.

If you believe this is the kind of environment where you could thrive, we want to we want you on our team. If your talents and our culture are a match, you will grow in ways you never imagined.


Recently named one of Baltimore’s Best Places to Work, the National Aquarium opened in 1981 as a nonprofit aquatic education and conservation organization, the jewel of the city’s Inner Harbor redevelopment. SmartCEO Magazine honored the National Aquarium with the Healthiest Workplace award and the Corporate Culture award in 2016. With a mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures, the Aquarium is consistently ranked one of the nation’s two top aquariums and has hosted over 51 million guests since opening.

Today, the National Aquarium builds on a 35-year history of local, regional and global conservation initiatives that provide real solutions for protecting marine life, ecosystems and aquatic communities. Its Animal Rescue team has rescued, rehabilitated and released hundreds of marine mammals and endangered sea turtles throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Its Animal Welfare and Science teams participate in important research efforts to confront pressing ocean conservation issues and advocate for smarter policies at local, state and federal levels. Through education, research, conservation action and advocacy, the National Aquarium is pursuing a vision to change the way humanity cares for our ocean planet.


Interested and engaged applicants should apply through our website Requests for reasonable accommodation can be made by e-mailing

Meet Some of National Aquarium's Employees

Morgan D.


Morgan’s job focuses on animal husbandry. He takes care of the Aquarium’s animals and carries out all the work that goes into keeping them healthy and happy.

Kelly N.

Guest Engagement Interpretive Specialist

Kelly’s goal is to convey the significance of conservation. She teaches visitors about having a positive impact, and helps them to connect with the wildlife around them.

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